5. Enjoy every moment — big and small
Falling in love should be the time of your life. With Brad and Em, as much as we loved them, there was always a rain cloud above their heads. Emily never seemed to have that much fun on the show. Granted, she didn’t get to have any of the fun dates — she was busy reliving her tragic past over and over for the cameras. Since she gets to go on *all* of the dates this time (unless things take a very odd turn this season), she should get a chance to experience all the fun dating (on The Bachelor) has to offer, from the adrenaline dates to the romantic dinners. Season 6 Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky kept a journal while she was on the show, so she could document her feelings every step of the way and so that her Chosen One (love you forever, Roberto Martinez!) always knew how she felt, regardless of what the edited show might broadcast for drama. That’s a good idea for Emily, too. Brad left The Bachelor on Cloud 9, then things fell apart as the show aired. Em needs to make sure she and Whoever She Picks have enough positive memories stored up to protect them from whatever happens down the road. Even if they split up a little while later — as the couples on this show often do — if they play their cards right, they should still be able to look back at their love and smile, with no regrets.
4. Focus on your Chosen One and ignore the other stuff
Brad had a much rougher road with the tabloids than Emily did, and she had a tough enough time herself. Every other week it was like his ex Laurel Kagay had some new story to share with the world about how he’d proposed to her before the show and how he really loves her, etc. Emily was not into that. She also disliked that the paparazzi sometimes snapped photos of her and Ricki in Charlotte — and that her “friends” would sell their own dirt to the tabs. She also got upset watching the show back and seeing how Brad would say the same sweet things to the other girls, like runner-up Chantal O'Brien. She got jealous and insecure and “poked the bear,” bringing out his temper. They admitted during the “After the Final Rose” special that both got upset. They both got stubborn. It was a bad combination. Emily has to realize that the tabloids aren’t going away; there will be more stories about her (they’ve already started) and brand new ones about her bachelors, including whoever she picks. No one is immune! And who cares? She shouldn’t. She and her Chosen One should focus on each other. Don’t be so sensitive. Just trust that they are being honest with each other and that their lives start now — the past is over — and ignore everything else.
3. Don’t let the process overcome good sense
Brad and Em got caught up in each other and the romance of the show, then when it was over it was like, “Now what?” They never seemed to fully break down the practical elements, like, where will we live? Brad always expected her to move to Austin, Texas, but that would mean moving little Ricki across the country and she never quite seemed ready for that. It’s one thing for Courtney Robertson to plan to move a couple hundred miles north to live with Bachelor Ben Flajnik; it’s a whole different ballgame for Emily to consider uprooting her daughter’s life for a guy, or for her to ask a guy to move to Charlotte to be with her. She really needs to use her time on the show to look past the sexy muscles (that’s going to be hard, we know!) and sweet platitudes and ask the tough, real-world questions… or this will be a waste of everyone’s time.
2. Sometimes it’s OK to move fast
For a girl with such a strong NASCAR background, Emily sure moves in the slow lane when it comes to love. Off the show, that’s a good thing. But on The Bachelor, it was like pulling teeth to get any kind of romantic sentiment out of her. How is she going to be when she’s dating 25 guys? How long will it take her to know what she wants? Is the show going to have to last two years until she really feels like she’s gotten to know everyone and they, in turn, have gotten past her defenses? This is a two-way street — it can’t just be about men falling in love with her, she has to fall in love back and show some kind of affection along the way. And what about some of the Bachelor/ette staples, like hot tubs, skimpy outfits and the infamous fantasy suites? Are we doing away with those because Emily is a reserved single mom? Or is she going to show us an entirely new side of herself — a sexy, confident side that’s more than just Ricki’s mommy (as important as that role is)? Chris recently said Emily is a “pistol” and sweet up to the point where she isn’t. We’re hoping to see more of that side — the side that can make quick, tough decisions and shows some passion instead of just reserve.
1. Open up! Loosen up! Brighten up!
On The Bachelor, Emily was like a beautiful mansion in a gated community that no one was allowed to access. Not even Brad, most of the time. Some of their dates were actually pretty awkward, with Brad acting like a nervous school boy and Emily just sitting there — stiff, shy and slightly melancholy, not really sharing much beyond the tragic story of losing her fiance. Not to be harsh, but most of us are familiar with that story at this point and we need to know what else there is to Emily — and, more importantly, so does her future fiance/husband. Who is she besides a single mom with a sad past? What makes her laugh? Is she funny herself? Can she be goofy and let loose? Will we ever see past that wall of perfection?
She’s back! Emily Maynard, the sweet Southern Barbie who stole Brad Womack’s heart — or at least rented it for a few months — will share her journey as The Bachelorette when Season 8 starts Monday, May 14. Chris Harrison recently called Emily “Perfect on a Stick” but we’re not 100 percent sure that’s true… yet. Em didn’t seem quite ready for “the process” during or after The Bachelor Season 15 so here are five things we hope she’s figured out by now or her Season 8 session may be dramatic for all “the wrong reasons.”